This Saturday and Sunday, the 5th and 6th of May, Mdina will be transformed into a medieval fantasy-land for an event that is pretty much the highlight of my year.
Having spent my entire childhood raised on medieval RPG video games (and corned-beef sandwiches), this is not a strange, niche festival full of those people who have cat hair stuck to their North Face jumpers – this is escapism at its absolute finest.
Want to forget about your shit job for a day? Go to Medieval Mdina and try on some armour. Want to clear your mind of the relentless demands of modern life, mortgages, adult responsibilities, and your rapidly receding hairline? Go to Medieval Mdina and hold a falcon for a few minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much a chest-plate and a bird of prey can cheer you up.
Between the battle reenactments, torture devices, blood-soaked slaves, cages, whips, and dungeons, Medieval Mdina feels a little bit like a step-up from an average Friday night in, so get comfortable.
Furry (And Scaly) Friends
There’s also plenty to keep the kids busy with small petting zoos dotted around the silent city. Horses, sheep, bunny rabbits, birds, and reptiles are all there, happy to be picked up or petted.
Whether you’re looking for fresh produce or a big fat hog roast, it’s all here. Bakery stalls, sweet stalls, meat, veg, and of course you can’t forget to visit Fontanella for the obscenely delicious cakes and beautiful views.
There are four different lectures over the weekend, two on each of the festival days. Learn all about medieval architecture and crafts from guest speakers in Palazzo Santa Sophia.
Transport yourself to King’s Landing with your very own medieval soundtrack. Historically-authentic bands will pop up in the piazzas throughout the day, and the stunning Vox Dulcis Chorale performs at St Paul’s Cathedral in the evenings.
Once you’ve had your fill of violence and hog roasts, grab yourself a seat in one of the squares, order yourself a beer, and just enjoy watching this medieval world go by. In addition to all the fun and fantasy, Mdina looks straight up stunning in its original form. Just be careful with the whole plague thing, I heard it can be quite nasty.
For more information, including the festival schedule, check out the event page.